Ovid Community Garden
The Ovid Community Garden will soon begin its second growing season after being established adjacent to the South Seneca Middle/High School grounds last year.
Since last year, students and community members have worked together to maintain and develop the garden. South Seneca students were involved in the construction as well as cleaning up and winterizing the garden, which is currently home to about 20 plant beds.
Patty Parsons, a Middle School ELA instructor and community garden board member, is working the garden into her class time and curriculum. Her class’s garden plots will be inspired by the time periods represented in books they are studying in English class: a colonial-era garden to go along with the Revolutionary War novel My Brother Sam is Dead and a victory garden-style plot in keeping with the World War II time period in Elie Wiesel’s Night.
Seventh and eighth graders will also be reading the book “Seedfolks” by Paul Fleischman, which tells the story of a community garden, as part of a community read event. Copies of the book have been provided with the help of the Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) to both South Seneca Middle School and the Edith B. Ford Memorial Library in Ovid so that community members can read along with students.
“Having the opportunity to participate in the Ovid Community Garden has given our seventh and eighth graders to be part of a project that has many ties to our community,” Parsons said. “Not only are the students learning how to grow food from seeds, they are learning the process of setting up and maintaining a garden plot.”
The Ovid Community Garden was made possible with the help of a grant from Kids Gardening, a non-profit that has helped schools develop gardens nationwide for 35 years. Support is also provided by Seneca Towns Engaging People for Solutions (STEPS) and the Seneca County CCE with the help of the Cornell University Garden-Based Learning program. The garden is managed by Maggie Passmore, a volunteer from the community.
Support from the Seneca County CCE’s 4-H Youth Development, Master Gardeners and Nutrition Team comes as part of a broader effort to raise an awareness of nutrition and local agriculture in our schools, alongside their Farm to School program. The Ovid Community Garden provides an opportunity to teach students about the nutritional value of produce grown locally and helps encourage an appreciation for food produced in our region.